Sauerkraut on New Year's Day

My wife is Asian and she insists on pork only, all day. She has dded sauerkraut to the ritual. This year she wanted ham. They didn’t go all that well but we cooked them separately anyway. But it’s the pork that is the ritual, not the cabbage.


I’m from Georgia and the traditional New Year day meal is collard greens to signify folding money and black eyed peas to signify coins. We also have pork usually.

Black-eyed peas in these parts, although I am more than pleased to eat sauerkraut any day.

West Virginia and a sauerkraut and pork fella. We usually cook it with a penny in it as well.

Never heard of sauerkraut and sausages for New Year’s Day in Germany, or of any special meal on that day for that matter. The most traditions about the turn of the year happen on New Year’s Eve, and the traditional New Year’s Eve’s meal is carp (“Silvesterkarpfen”), though I suspect that these days more people eat either fondue or raclette. As for sausages, the most popular German dish on Christmas Eve is frankfurters with potato salad.

Slight tangent:

EinsteinsHund (or anyone), do you know if kohlrouladen (cabbage rolls) are associated with any particular holiday in German-speaking areas?

I’ve enjoyed pork and sauerkraut every new year’s day for as long as I can remember. I’m always a little surprised to hear that the tradition isn’t universal.

I’ve never heard of it, but there are so many regions with different traditions in Germany that I cannot rule it out.

ETA: I only know Kohlrouladen as an every day meal, not even something you’d serve on a regular sunday.

When I got married, I learned about having Hoppin’ John (or, as my hubby calls it, Hoppnin’ John) for the New Year. Never liked it, although I think it may be because my husband doesn’t know how to cook it.

When my DIL moved in, she insisted on making sauerkraut and pork (usually loin, not sausage) for New Year. She’s German and Irish, so a big pot of boiled 'kraut with pork seemed natural. I like it much better than the blackeye pea thing.

The one tradition that I bring to the table, pasteles, is the one thing we didn’t have this year because I can’t make it and we couldn’t find any abuelitas who were selling. So sad.

Hoppin’ John is such a big category of catch-all, that you never know if you like it or not. My mamas Hoppin John is a red dish with tomatoes and beans added and it has a vaguely Spanish rice flavor, but I’ve seen it completely white with just black-eyed peas. Maybe his is just a terrible one.

That sound yummy. Hubby’s is a pale, sort of grayish thick paste with bits of onion and maybe smoked turkey wing in it. Not at all my cuppa.

I grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania and it seems like everyone I knew made pork & sauerkraut on New Years day.

When I moved to Minnesota, and asked people if they were having pork & sauerkraut on new years day they all responded with some variation of “Gross. Why the fuck would I do that?”

My mama’s is rice, tomato sauce, bacon, great northern beans, black eyed peas (although she frequently just leaves them out because her grandma didn’t like them-which means this might not even be hoppin john? Oh well, that’s what we call it.) onion, garlic, brown sugar and then whatever spices she feels like-usually salt, pepper, maybe some chili powder or cajun seasoning, sometimes she’ll chop up green chilis, basically whatever comes to mind for her.

My husband had one Southern and one Irish grandmother, so black-eyed peas came from the South and corned beef and cabbage came from Ireland.
We both hate cabbage, so we substituted sauerkraut and have that with cow-in-can because we can’t afford a brisket.
I let my husband enjoy all the black-eyed peas.

I guess we cover the bases; around here it’s always been ham, collard greens, blackeyed peas and cornbread on NYD, with sometimes some cabbage as well.